International shipping line MSC has announced a binding agreement to acquire a 50% stake in train company Italo – Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (Italo) from its parent company Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. As reported by Reuters, the agreement is set to give Italo an enterprise value of €4.2bn ($4.4bn), which equates to over double the amount that GIP acquired the train operator for back in 2018.

MSC has stated that they will provide joint governance with GIP on the other 50% stake alongside Allianz Group entities.

Through this commitment, the Swiss-based company continues to maintain strong ties with Italy since it was founded in Naples in 1970.

According to MSC, this announcement aligns with Italy’s efforts to enhance its infrastructure network through new projects outlined in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).

MSC Group president Diego Aponte highlighted aims to strengthen rail connectivity and how they can incorporate this through Italy.

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Aponte said: “This agreement demonstrates our long-standing commitment to Italy and support for exceptional high-speed passenger rail transport in Italy.”

“We strongly believe in the potential of Italo to further strengthen rail connectivity across Italy but also the Italian tourism market. We share a common vision with GIP and are proud to once again build on this strategic partnership.”

This deal represents a commitment to developing sustainable transport which will continue Italo’s efforts. As highlighted in their 2022 sustainability report, the train operator has maintained a 62.89% Rail Sustainability Index compared with a sector average of 42.38%.

Aponte added: “[This] agreement also reflects our group’s goal of further developing sustainable modes of transport, for both passengers and cargo.”